How It Works

Polithon applies the philosophy and structure of a technology hackathon to policy with a few twists and adaptations. 

hack·a·thon

/ˈhakəˌTHän/

noun informal

A hackathon is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects. (source: Wikipedia)

While there are many platforms for young people to express their individual opinions, there are few platforms for them to actually come together and do something concrete for an issue about which they are passionate. Polithon fills that gap by allowing participants to free think, argue their cases, and put together a solution that leads to real change regardless of their backgrounds, political and cultural values, and socioeconomic levels.

The Current Model

Step 1:

Identify an issue whose solution has eluded policymakers. Polithon partners with an existing advocacy group, organization, or company (aka our Anchor Partner) that brings us in to catalyze a solution they can later roll out.

Step 2:

Select a diverse group of bright, creative millennials committed to solving problems and developing pragmatic solutions to become Policy Disruptors (PDs). PDs are briefed on the topic via a briefing book and connected to field experts to answer questions prior to the Polithon.

Step 3:

Hold a two day long Polithon. After meeting and mingling, PDs tackle the issue by brainstorming, debating, arguing, and working through the various pieces of the policy to land on solutions. During an average polithon of a day and a half, by the end of the first day, each team has a well developed outline of their ideas. The second day is spent either with teams crafting individual policy papers from their outlines to be judged by a group of experts or with the teams coming together to develop a single platform from their outlines. 

Step 4:

Launch an advocacy campaign to circulate and promote the platform led by the Anchor Partner ensuring action is taken on the platform and that PDs stay engaged throughout the process.